WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival has claimed nine lives now with the passing of 22-year-old Bharti Shahani.
- Shahani, who was critically injured during Travis Scott’s concert, ultimately succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday night.
- Her parents asked for justice during an emotional press conference on Thursday.
Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old student at Texas A&M University, was injured during the crowd surge last week at Travis Scott’s concert in Houston. She sustained “horrific injuries” and battled for her life for days, but tragically passed away “at 6:50 last night,” her family’s attorney said on Thursday.
There were eight other victims, aged 14 to 27, who passed away. Around 25 more had been hospitalized while over 300 were treated at an on-site field hospital.
Shahani attended the concert with her younger sister and cousin, who both survived. After her injury, she was in critical condition and needed a ventilator.
Her father, Bhagu Shahani, asked authorities “to please make sure she gets justice. I don’t want somebody else’s daughter to go like this.”
Her mother, Karishma Shahani, pleaded, “I don’t know what to do now without Bharti. I want my baby back, please.”
Chief Troy Finner stated that Houston police has an ongoing criminal investigation along with the homicide and narcotics divisions.
Several lawsuits have been filed against Scott and festival organizers.
According to one lawsuit, “Scott actively encourages his fans to ‘rage’ at his concerts. His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts.”
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on NBC’s “TODAY” show on Tuesday that Scott and others should have immediately stopped the event as soon as they learned about the crowd surge.
Peña added, however, that there was no evidence that Scott encouraged the crowd to get rowdy. He said that everyone at the event had “a responsibility… to ensure each other’s safety” as “a community.”
He explained that the barricades meant to prevent a surge toward the stage “caused other areas of pinch points.” When the crowd started to “push and compress towards the front, it was those people in the center that began to get crushed.”
Over the weekend, Scott said in an Instagram story, “I’m honestly just devastated. I could never imagine anything like this just happening.”
On Monday, Scott expressed his sympathies and pledged to pay the victims’ funerals and all concertgoers’ refunds.
Scott’s representatives stated on Thursday, “Over the last week, Travis Scott and his team have been actively exploring routes of connection with each and every family affected by the tragedy through the appropriate liaisons. He is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to them as soon as possible, but wants to remain respectful of each family’s wishes on how they’d best like to be connected.”
Source: NBC News